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My Laugh Comes Last Paperback – January 1, 2000
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What can be said about the femme fatale in Chase? You just *know* she's going to turn out to be the treacherous one, dooming the narrator... In the best Chase books, you don't mind knowing this beforehand; but it does seem to be too much of a give-away in _My Laugh Comes Last_. Yes, the customary, pleasant plot twist does arrive at the very end as we've grown to expect from Chase, but this time, the book's ending does not seem to have deeper implications; the ending struck me as rather flat, given we'd had a good idea about the femme fatale all along.
The book was released in 1977, but feels remarkably old-fashioned even for those days; it's a late work by Chase, and you feel as if Chase was more at home in the 1950s and 1960s. Yes, I'm not going to judge bank security measures in 1977 by 2013 standards, but even so: it just defies belief that a supposedly "safest bank in the world" would only be guarded by a single watchman the entire weekend (!), and even this guard would be making his regular rounds, leaving the entrance to the bank completely unguarded for longish stretches of time. Did they have no security cameras in the late 1970s? Perhaps not, but even so: the plot seems so far-fetched it makes you shake your head. So, there are a couple of invisible beams in the lobby of "the safest bank in the world", and after you carefully crawl underneath them, you're free to spend your entire weekend inside the bank building, even inside its main vault, completely unnoticed and unhindered? Erm, I wonder!
The bank security issues make the plot sound hard to believe, but it's not better with character motivation.Read more ›